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FLORIDA FEDERATION OF FAIRS SUMMER WORKSHOP

KVLS to Host Florida Federation of Fairs Summer Workshop

The Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show is proud to be hosting employees, volunteers, and executive members of Fairs from across the State of Florida at Osceola Heritage Park. The Florida Federation of Fairs is a state wide organization dedicated to “increasing the overall quality of Florida’s Agricultural Fairs.” With Fair and Festival Members as well as Associate Members including entertainers, concessionaires, and industry experts, the group is committed to the continued education of those organizing our county and state events, as well as connecting venues and providers in an effort to produce the best events in the country.

The two day workshop will consist of various educational workshops and host presenters from across the United States. Several Osceola County residents will also speak including Beth Knight, Deputy County Manager who will share the importance of working together, as a community, to continue and promote our traditional and beloved County Fairs. Additionally, Detective Al Vazquez from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department will be on hand to discuss safety and security of large events and the proud relationship KVLS shares with his department. The overall goal is to bring individuals from all types and sizes of events together to improve this piece of American Heritage.

Former KVLS General Manager and active KVLS Board Member Dawn Rowe is currently serving as President of the Florida Federation of Fairs. Her position with the group was instrumental in luring the workshop to Osceola Heritage Park. Current KVLS General Manager Miranda Muir stated, “We are extremely proud of Dawn and the level of success she has achieved within the industry. It is quite an honor to serve in this capacity and KVLS is lucky to have such wonderful representation.” Muir also thanked Osceola County, the Board of County Commissioners, and the Osceola County Administrative Staff, SMG, Savor, and Experience Kissimmee for their key roles in solidifying the location selection and assistance with the event. “It was a true team effort.” Stated Muir.

The workshop is only available to current members of the Florida Federation of Fairs and will run July 28th and 29th. For more information, please visit the organizations website, www.floridafairs.org.

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KVLS Announces Educational Initiative & 2018 Theme

June 28, 2017

The Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show has been a part of Osceola County Heritage for nearly 74 years promoting Agriculture and the education of area youth. Throughout the years, the 501c3 Non-Profit organization has seen many changes, embracing the modern day fair and working hard to advertise and develop their annual Osceola County Fair in an effort to continue to serve its youth exhibitors and farming and ranching communities as best possible. Since 2005 they have awarded more than $72,000 in educational scholarships, hosted an annual livestock auction grossing an average of $400,000, and each year distributes more than $50,000 in premiums, ribbons, and awards. With the support of extremely generous businesses and individual donors, KVLS & the Osceola County Fair has been able to both entertain the entire Central Florida Community, while preserving the traditions of many earlier generations.

In 2018, KVLS will be returning to those roots and concentrating on educating even more individuals about the importance of Agriculture. General Manager, Miranda Muir stated, “Most people do not realize how profoundly their lives are impacted by farmers and ranchers and it is our mission to get back to the basics of our event, educating all ages and all walks of life about agriculture.” As such, the 2018 Osceola County Fair will be themed #AGVOCATE. The hash tag will help celebrate the Fair, many new events and areas, and Osceola County’s roots while introducing the public to modern agriculture, the science and technology involved, and hopefully attracting a new market of individuals. The theme is designed to merge the trends of today with the celebration and education of the agricultural industry.

The new theme will also be paired with a new fundraising effort. Muir indicated, “The #AGVOCATE fund will be designated strictly for use in educational areas.” This will be an expansion of a fund previously established by the Chapman family who generously and tirelessly worked to support the fair ensuring its existence and securing its future with the opening of Osceola Heritage Park in 2003.

The initial $50,000 goal will be promoted and raised over the next two years. A large portion of the initial funding will be dedicated to opening the H.A.Y.L.O.F.T (Helping All Youth Learn of Farming & Technologies) at the Osceola County Fair. This nearly 10,000 square foot area will be dedicated to activities geared towards educating visiting youth. Participants will have a chance to milk a cow, drive a tractor, sheer a sheep, or practice their roping skills in this completely hands on area. Muir cited a recent report by the Washington Post indicating more than 7 percent of Americans, “think that the color of milk is related to the color of spots on a cow.” In other words, chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Muir advised, “It is so disheartening to ask a young child where milk comes from and their answer is the grocery store. KVLS is ready and willing to step up to the plate, beginning agriculture education at a young age, and informing kids everywhere why and how Farmers and Ranchers make a difference and an impact on their lives each and every day.” In addition to this interactive exhibit, the group also plans to begin educational seminars for both exhibitors and the general public, and are hopeful to begin an Ag based summer camp in 2018.

The group however needs your help. They encourage everyone to not only attend the 2018 Osceola County Fair, February 9th – 18th, but to also consider donating to the new #AGVOCATE campaign. Every dollar counts and gets them one step closer to their goal. If you would like additional information, please call the KVLS Office at 321-697-3050 or visit www.osceolacountyfair.com.


To make a donation to #AGVOCATE, our Agricultural Education Fund, please CLICK HERE.
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Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show Welcomes New Staff

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KVLS, the 501c3 Non-Profit responsible for organizing the annual Osceola County Fair, has welcomed two new team members. General Manager, Miranda Muir is “excited for the new changes and to start planning for 2018 with a fresh new perspective.” With the support of the KVLS Board of Directors, Muir recently restructured the administrative team and hired both a new Director of Special Events & Education as well as an Administrative Assistant.

Stacey Wade of Winter Garden will join the team in May as the Director of Special Events & Education. Stacey comes with 15 years experience as the Director of Competitive Events & Education at the Central Florida Fair in Orlando. Ms. Wade was responsible for developing and managing the agricultural and educational programs. In 2017, she also had the opportunity to redesign and redefine the Arts and Culinary Program including producing the Waste 2 Wonder competition, a successful youth fashion show and an interactive Farm to Table Exhibit. Ms. Muir stated, “Stacey brings a wealth of experience to our event and her dedication to the promotion of agriculture and education of area youth sets her apart in her field.”

Jacqueline Santiago has formerly worked for KVLS as a temporary employee each year during Fair time and during the 2017 event went above and beyond helping to fill roles in a variety of areas. A long time 4-H parent and volunteer, Mrs. Santiago has a wealth of knowledge regarding KVLS and the programs they support. She will now be filling a permanent role as the Administrative Assistant working throughout the year to support both KVLS Members and her fellow staff.

Miranda Muir commented, “Our new team is already hard at work planning for upcoming events, making improvements, and most importantly getting ready for the 2018 Osceola County Fair. I am confident both our Membership and Community will be pleased with the forward progression of our 70+ year old organization.” The mission of KVLS has always been to promote and support agriculture and with the new team in place, Muir indicated there will be a renewed focus on the heritage and traditions of the organization, including their agricultural roots. “We want to stay new and fresh, but it remains of the upmost importance to continue our educational mission and teach the next generation about the importance of agriculture in our daily lives.” Ms. Muir has been the General Manager since 2013, and the Fair continues to see growth and positive change under her leadership.

President Dale Davis Retires From Position

KVLS President Dale Davis
KVLS President Dale Davis 

At the April Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show Membership Meeting, long time President Dale Davis retired from his position on the Executive Board. Mr. Davis has served in this capacity for numerous years and many of the association’s volunteer members have known no other leader. They have grown accustomed to his leadership style, caring heart, and calm demeanor and all agree he will certainly be missed.

Mr. Davis indicated the best part of serving in this position is the lasting friendships he and his wife have made and watching the annual Osceola County Fair continue to grow. For the Davis family, their love of Osceola County’s Heritage and their desire to keep that alive for today’s youth have been the driving forces behind thousands of hours of volunteer labor. Dale hopes more volunteers will spend time getting to know about and being a part of KVLS because in this ever changing world, it is important to preserve our history and traditions.

KVLS General Manager Miranda Muir said, “Dale has been wonderful to work with. He has been more than a boss, as he is also a friend and mentor.” Muir indicated Davis is the only President she has worked for in her 4-year tenure with the Non-Profit organization and he will be greatly missed in that capacity. However Muir, a self-proclaimed life-long Fair person, also knows how much heart and soul Mr. Davis has put into the organization and indicated that, “putting so much time into something other than your family and career can be tiring. Life is about balance and we are so happy Dale will now have more time to spend with his wonderful family.”

The Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show Board of Directors selects the Executive Board which will lead the organization for a one-year term. The newly appointed President is Shawn Beck of St. Cloud. Shawn has served KVLS previously as Vice President and also as Chairperson for the annual Market Hog Show and Auction. Mr. Beck’s daughter, Marina, has grown up showing at the annual Osceola County Fair and the Board of Directors recognized his passion and experience with the organization as key to taking over the reigns.

KVLS is a volunteer organization dedicated to the success of area youth, promotion of agriculture, and preservation of Osceola County Heritage. Each year they present many events, including the Osceola County Fair. To learn more about this 501c3 Non-Profit Organization, please visit their website, www.osceolacountyfair.com.

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The Osceola County Fair Celebrates Another Great Year!

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The 73rd Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show & Osceola County Fair wrapped up late in February, but the tallies are just being finished. This year’s event hosted more than 90,000 visitors, and boasted a record breaking Rodeo Day, with more than 25,000 in attendance. With new rides, entertainment, and vendors, the Central Florida community enjoyed 10 days of safe, family oriented fun.

Beyond the Midway, this year’s competitions welcomed more than 5,589 exhibits including 1,288 livestock exhibits. The Youth Market Animal Auction raised $468,000 and over $65,000 in premiums were awarded to both youth and adult exhibitors. One such exhibitor was Brendan Barody, age 12, from St. Cloud. Brendan’s favorite part of exhibiting was, “Learning so many new skills and meeting new friends.” And 10 year old Lawson Horner of Kissimmee said, “The fair is my favorite time of year! I think I might even like it as much as Christmas! I love being at the fair with all of my friends and showing my lamb and riding all of their rides and eating all the great food. I have been in 4H and exhibiting at the fair since I was five years old and I just love it so much!”

KVLS General Manager, Miranda Muir indicated, “The youth programs always seem to be bigger and better. It is wonderful to see the kids grow each year, learning more and becoming more confident in their abilities.” Mrs. Muir also praised the many volunteers who make it all come together and the businesses and individuals who sponsor the various programs and events. “Without the support of this community KVLS would not be able to do what we do.” The Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show & Osceola County Fair, Inc. is a 501c3 Non-Profit organization. Their largest annual event is the Osceola County Fair, however they also host various livestock shows, educational programs, and community events such as Trunk or Treat, each year.

Even before the 2017 event concluded, the group of more than 200 volunteers and office team were already hard at work planning for 2018. Students are already beginning to register for the citrus program, themes and promotional materials are being developed, and a continued dedication to the safety of everyone who enjoys the Fair requires additional training and strategic planning. Maintaining this annual event requires constant attention to detail, continued education, and a creative passion. “We cannot wait to see you all next time, February 9th – 18th, 2018.” -Miranda Muir

KVLS to Present Home & Garden Show

The Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show will present their first annual Home & Garden Show on October 21st and 22nd at the KVLS Pavilion in Osceola Heritage Park.The 501c3 non-profit organization has teamed up with the Osceola County Master Gardeners to provide this FREE event, running 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., daily.The show, to be held concurrently with the gardeners’ Fall Plant Sale, will host area businesses and groups providing services and products for your home and garden.In addition to the sale and show, there will also be gardening demonstrations and workshops, free children’s activities, and a mid-year taste of the Fair with favorite food and beverage vendors.The KVLS Office is currently accepting vendor applications and more information can be found on their website, www.osceolacountyfair.com.

The Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show is comprised of more than 200 volunteers who work year-round promoting agriculture and education.The groups also organizes the annual Osceola County Fair held in February.For more information on KVLS or the programs it provides, visit their website, www.osceolacountyfair.com or call 321-697-3050.

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Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show Sends Contestant to Miss FL

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Miss Osceola, Jessica Hargrave recently represented the Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show & Osceola County Fair at the annual Miss Florida Program held in Lakeland, Florida. As Miss Osceola, Jessica is not only a representative of the organization, visiting and speaking on behalf of the 501c3 Non Profit, but also had the experience of a lifetime, competing among 47 other contestants on the road to Miss America.

The program was held June 26th – July 2nd. All contestants competed in Personal Interview, Onstage Question, Talent, Evening Gown, and Physical Fitness. Throughout the week, the contestants also participated in community service events and visited numerous local businesses and tourist attractions promoting the Lakeland area and all of Central Florida.

The Miss Osceola Scholarship Program is sponsored and organized by the members of the Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show. It is a part of the Miss America Organization, which is the largest provider of scholarships for young women, in the world! The local Miss Osceola program provides $3,000 in educational funding, including $1,500 awarded to the 2016 winner, Jessica Hargrave. While at Miss Florida, Hargrave had the opportunity to earn a portion of the nearly $1 million in scholarships available.

Though not selected as Miss Florida, the duties of Miss Osceola continue and Jessica will continue to be active in the community promoting the Osceola County Fair and also serving to bring awareness to her person platform, “Autism Speaks.” Miss Hargrave is a vocalist and recently had the honor of singing the National Anthem at the Orlando Pride game. If you are interested in having Miss Osceola appear at your organization’s next event, call the KVLS Office at 321-697-3050.

Miss Osceola 2017 will be crowned during the Osceola County Fair, February 10th – 19th. The program is open to young ladies ages 17 to 24 and more information will be posted on the Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show website as further details become available, www.osceolacountyfair.com.

KVLS Summer Update

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In the fair industry, 4 months after the biggest event of our year is considered our off-season. Many are taking family vacations, enjoying free time, and trying to forget how quickly next year’s event will creep up on us, but that is definitely not the case here in Osceola County. The team at the Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show is moving full steam ahead, planning for 2017, making an impact in our community and beyond, and looking forward to new and exciting events coming our way!

In May, twelve members of our association traveled to the Florida Federation of Fairs Annual Convention in St. Augustine. There, we received top honors in the photography contest and as a reward, a beautiful photo from our 2016 event, taken by KVLS Member Gary Schmidt, will grace the cover of the 2016 – 2017 Florida Fairs Directory. Junior Board Member Ashley Avant was also victorious as her Christmas charity work earned a $500 grant. With this funding, Miss Avant and the KVLS Family will be able to continue their community work this holiday season and again make a difference in the lives of others.

I was also extremely proud to be a part of this year’s YPI Charity Drive. As the Chairperson of the Florida Federation of Fairs Young Professionals Initiative, my leadership skills were put to the test as our committee developed and implemented new programs encouraging those under 40 years of age, to step up to the challenge, become a part of their community, and develop the skills necessary to keep our industry thriving for years to come. Part of these programs included our new charity drive and during this year’s event, we partnered with St. Augustine Youth Services, a home for mentally or physically abused young men ages 5 – 18. We raised $4,000 in cash AND more than $1,000 in supplies and gifts. It was amazing to be a part of this awesome event and help lead the way for generations to come.

Upon returning from convention, we were blessed to be selected as the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce’s Non-Profit Organization of the Quarter. It was an honor to accept this award on behalf of our association and I was ecstatic to see our group praised for all of their hard work and dedication to Osceola County.

As we look forward to what is next, we are already hard at work on our 2017 Fair and cannot wait to introduce you to our new mascot, Rocco. Fresh new marketing campaigns, unique entertainers, and revamped community programs are coming your way. However, before we get there, we are looking forward to our Fall fundraiser; A Night with the Sweeney Brothers. If you like the Sweeney Family Band at Fair time, you are going to love this one night, full-length concert in the KVLS Pavilion. Wholesome, family entertainment, lots of laughs, and great music will fill the arena on October 1st. We hope to see you there!

The Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show is proud to be a part of Osceola County and we cannot thank you enough for your continued support.

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